The chondrocyte

C W Archer, P Francis-West

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

236 Citations (Scopus)


The chondrocyte is the resident cell of cartilage that is a prominent tissue in the embryo acting as a template for the development of skeletal elements. In the adult, the distribution of permanent cartilage is much more restricted and is necessary for mechanical support, growth and movement. The cell is isolated within a voluminous extracellular matrix (ECM) that is neither vascularised nor innervated. As a result, nutrient/waste exchange occurs through diffusion and, consequently, under normal and pathological conditions, the cell is unique in its ability to exist in a low oxygen tension environment. Partly as a result of these properties, the tissue has a low reparative potential that, in the case of articular cartilage, predisposes the tissue to degenerative conditions such as arthritis that is a significant clinical problem. Cellfacts Cytoplasmically isolated. High matrix/cell volume ratio. Do not divide after skeletal maturity unless during pathology. Major contributor to growth of the body. Most energy requirements obtained through glycolysis. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)401 - 404
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Biochemistry and Cell Biology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2003


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